We’re going for it
In August I’m heading to Findhorn once again.
Rise Festival at Dance North is usually in May, this time they have an artist visiting each month.
First will be me and Eddie Ladd sharing Neither Here Nor There on the 14th and 15th August then the following weekend on the 21st and 22nd Anushiye will arrive and we will present Marathon of Intimacies for the first time with a live audience.
Keep up to date with the whole festival HERE
Artist Jo Fong, Sonia Hughes, Lisa Mattocks and Andrew Westle have come together to collaborate on a new work called Our Land. Its one of over 90 artworks and events along the stretch of the Thames Estuary. For details click HERE
Estuary 2021 is the second edition of the large-scale arts festival that celebrates the lives, landscapes and histories of the spectacular Thames Estuary.
Taking place on the river itself, and along the 107 miles of South Essex and North Kent coastline, contemporary artworks, discussion and events explore and respond to powerful themes resonant to the estuary.
Artworks set in the landscape, online and within Covid-safe venues, explore the estuary through the lens of contemporary concerns, including climate justice, protest and rebellion, imperial legacy and the rich, often overlooked stories of its diverse communities, bringing new audiences to a deeper understanding of the estuary.
Commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre and Here and Now Jo has been collaborating with four local conversationalists.
So far, we have come into conversation with a celebrant, counsellor, charity worker, gardener, protestor, mother, clown, a duty manager and many more
All care takers in their own way.
There will be a planting day at BAC on the morning of the 1st May 2021 to remember the people we have lost.
To find out more and contribute your voice to this archive of voices for this time click HERE
We’re definitely not through this and there is no doubt that there are more difficult times to come.
Though we live in and out of hope, the seasons keep coming, the small things keep us going and then there are other moments where we need to stand our ground or travel against the flow of powerful voices and decisions.
What is success? Getting to 2022 with grace perhaps? Or can we do this together? Or are there things we will need to start again and do it differently?
Jo Fong and Anushiye Yarnell are sharing some work as part of Chinese Arts Now Festival 21 on
11th March at 7pm.
Photography Noel Dacey
Jo and Anushiye have begun working together on a new performance and short film called Marathon of Intimacies
Created and performed by Anushiye Yarnell and Jo Fong
Marathon is a word associated with endurance and winning
Intimacy is overused in describing performance
These two words marathon and intimacy don’t fit together
All the intimacies that have been part of our lives, could they be with us while we’re dancing.
“For me, this film with Anushiye emerged from our walking in parks and talking about race. White rooms, family, shame, power, being heard, justice, presence… in these last months I’ve been searching, looking everywhere around every corner for how my nearly 50 year old body can be a part of the conversation. In 2020, I’ve been practicing saying the truth and with Anushiye I felt I was able to learn to speak the truth.
The strategy at the moment is small, safe, hyper-local and with purpose.
And the question I’m holding closely is, “What is unburdened arts practice for women of colour?”
“Getting what you need… it’s not necessarily what you think you need.
There is a kind of recognition, arriving at the beginning again, which involves not knowing.
I’m interested in being in the margins- the margins within myself and in life.
This is something that I’m sharing and treasuring with Jo
Our margins meet as a gentle micro riptide. Going out coming in.
We are both getting what we want from it.
Resonance and difference.
The complexity, sensuality and movements of consent.
Non destinational care without compromise – a kind of survival.”
Filmmaker and photography by Lara Ward
Commissioned by Surf the Wave and supported by Chapter, Penpynfarch, Arts Council of Wales and Groundwork Pro
A series of new films created with artist Sonia Hughes for Dublin Theatre Festival
At the heart of the festival is the city of Dublin – its people and its stories – and a commitment to contributing to the vibrant social and cultural life of the capital.
28 Sept – 3 Oct 2020
See the FULL programme HERE
Some things have happened in our lives that make us think that this is how things go.
Jo Fong and Sonia Hughes are middle-aged artists who live in Marsden, Yorkshire and Cardiff in Wales. They’ve invited six people who live in Ireland for a one-to-one conversation. The questions are deceptively simple, the answers are incredibly complicated.
It all takes time. Complexity takes time, it requires multiple voices, many levels of expertise and patience in the unspectacular.
Each day a short film will be released of these fresh, unfettered conversations.
To Tell You The Truth is based on Jo and Sonia’s live show Neither Here Nor There.
28 Sept – 3 Oct, 1pm
“Post” Covid-19 makeover
Jo’s independent practice puts difference and ideas around belonging or forming community at the heart of events. Cultivated through face-to-face contact, Jo brings people together, it’s about connection and how we communicate or live together. In this digital weariness, Jo is researching ways to preserve intimacy without proximity. Devising ways to have impact on urgent social issues such as Black Lives Matter, her local neighbourhood, the arts place in society and responding to the foreseen poverty that will occur in the UK.
Neither Here Nor There was commissioned by Chapter and presented at Summerhall last summer and became a Late Recommendation for British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase. Sonia and Jo are continuing to develop the project including a digital performance for Dublin Theatre Festival called To Tell You The Truth. Next year’s plans include two outdoor residencies/community projects with Metal’s Estuary Project and Battersea Arts Centre. Just last week they rebooked, live in person, performances of Neither Here Nor There at Findhorn and Wellcome Collection, London.
Jo and Sonia are also working Rabab Ghazoul of Gentle/Radical, supporting her and the organisation’s important work for equality and justice, in particular for women of colour. www.gentleradical.org/
Jo has received Arts Council Wales funding not only look at a way to stabilise her creative work in this pandemic but also to start work towards changing the environment she works in. Wales’ organisations and artistic leaders are predominantly led by White people. Jo is part of the movement for changing and supporting new work by new people and for new audiences in Wales. Part of this work is an attention on existing organisations, many of which Jo has worked with previously, undoing, unlearning and rethinking processes and structures, from leadership to developing individual artists and how we educate and change almost, if not, Everything.
Jo has embarked on an international project with Secret Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. www.xosecret.org Collaborating with artists Dustin Harvey and Jacinte Armstrong and 4 further Wales and Nova Scotia based artists. The project is called The Spaces Between Us and explores how public spaces are used and occupied. How the areas around where we live can become charged and welcome to all. The ambition for the project is a Wales and Nova Scotia wide action to occur simultaneously in 2021 acknowledging the presence of minority communities in these countries. “We’ll all be thinking about where we live and how we live.”
Jo and Sonia have been building their Patreon page since 2019. Knowing even before Covid-19 the arts were in a tricky position.
If you would like to support Jo and Sonia in their work together you can do that for as little as £3 a month on this page.
Here we share processes and try outs with personal writing, images and videos. Our most recent video is called On Saying The Truth created during lockdown in the heat of the upsurge of awareness for Black Lives Matter.
“This is the lockdown art content I’ve been waiting for. Words, on a screen, two writers, two views… The choreography, the layers. So simple. Stunning.” Audience member.
Its a bit of a sit down and lasts half an hour. Effortless.
Sonia and I have been meeting each week to chat, banter, rant, ponder, worry and plan.
We will be live writing on the 2nd 4th and 6th June.
Find a place to sit with your laptop, tablet or mobile phone, preferably by a window
Turn off your notifications
At midday open the link
Neither Here Nor There
To join us on the day, go to this link https://www.facebook.com/events/665444097348511/permalink/666116113947976/
If you wish to donate towards our work together you can become a patron HERE